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The same. Another room.
Enter Charmian, Iras, Alexas, and a Soothsayer.
Char. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer that you praised so to the queen? O, that I knew this husband, which, you say, must change his horns with garlands !
Show him your hand.
Eno. Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough, Cleopatra's health to drink.
Char. Good sir, give me good fortune.
Char. Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me be married to three kings in a forenoon, and widow them all: let me have a child at fifty, to whom
Herod of Jewry may do homage: find me to marry me with Octavius Cæsar, and companion me with my mistress.
Sooth. You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.
Char. Then, belike, my children shall have no Dames*: Pr'ythee, how many boys and wenches must I have?
Sooth. If every of your wishes had a womb, And fertile every wish, a million.
Char, Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch. Aler. You think, none but your sheets are privy to your wishes. Char. Nay, come, tell Iras hers. Aler. We'll know all our fortunes. Eno. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, sliall be- drunk to bed.
Irus. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.
Char. Even as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth famine. Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.
Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear.-Prythee, tell her but a work y.day fortune.
sooth. Your fortunes are alike. Iras. But how, but how? give me particulars. Sooth. I have said. Iras. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she? Char. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I, where would you choose it?'
Iras. Not in my husband's nose. Char. Our worser thoughts heavens mend! Alexas,-come, his fortune, his fortune.0, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I be
• Shall be bastards,
seech thee! And let her die too, and give him a worse ! and let worse follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty fold a cuckold! Good Isis*, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Isis, I beseech thee!
Iras. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people! for, as it is a heart-breaking to see a handsome man loose-wived, so it is a deadly sor. row to behold a foul knave uncuckolded; Therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accord. ingly!
Aler. Lo, now! if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but they'd do't.
Eno. Hush! here comes Antony.
Not he, the queen.
Was he not here? Char. No, madam. Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the sud
Enter Antony, with a Messenger and Attendants.
Exeunt Cleopatra, Enobarbus, Alexas, Iras,
• An Egyptian goddess.
Mess. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.
Mess. The nature of bad news ipfects the teller.
Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward.- On:
Ant. Antony, thou would'st say,–
O, my lord ! Ant. Speak to 'me home, mince not the general
tongue; Name Cleopatra as she's call'd in Rome: Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase; and taunt my faults With such full licence, as both truth and malice Hase power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds, When our quick windst lie still; and ourills told us, Is as our earingi. Fare thee well a while. Mess. At your noble pleasure.
(Exit. Ant. From Sicyon how the news? Speak there. 1 Att. The man from Sicyon.- Is there such an
one? 2 Att. He stays g upon your will.
In some editions minds. * Tilling, ploughing ; prepares us to produce good seed.
Let him appear.These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
Enter another Messenger. Or lose myself in dotage.- What are you?
Mess. Fulvia thy wife is dead. Ant.
Where died she? 2 Mess. In Sicyon: Her length of sickness, with what else more serious Importeth thee to know, this bears. (Gives a letter. Ant.
(Erit Messenger. There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it: What our contempts do often hurl from us, We wish it ours again; the present pleasure, By revolution lowering, does become The opposite of itself: she's good, being gone : The hand could pluck her back, that shov'd her on. I must from this enchanting queen break off; Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know, My idleness doth hatch.-How now! Enobarbus!
Ant. I must with haste from hence. · Eno. Why, then, we kill all our women: We see how mortal an unkindness is to them; if they suffer our departure, death's the word.
Ant. I must be gone.
Eno. Under a compelling occasion, let women die: It were pity to cast them away for nothing; though, between them and a great cause, they should be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies instantly; I have seen her die twenty times upon far poorer moment: I do think, there is mettle in death, which commits some loving act upon her, she hath such a celerity in dying.